Sir Norman Foster’s plans for Wembley Stadium to become the UK’s national sports stadium include the retention of its two listed towers. Everything else will be decimated … perhaps England fans with leftover aggression could help in the demolition?
Each tower weighs around 2000 tonnes. Rather than being rebuilt bit by bit, these will be moved by a hydraulic sledge, which can burrow its way underneath them. This technique was developed by the infamous Romanian tyrant Ceausescu, who apparently employed it to move apartment blocks at whim.
According to Sir Norman, Ceausescu didn’t even bother to tell the residents of his demolition plans. “They just stayed in their flats and carried on doing the cooking. What we’re going to do is child’s play in comparison.” So Wembley residents don’t have to follow in the footsteps of their Romanian counterparts.
Foster & Partners was rather put on the spot when it was revealed that the practice actually created the masterplan for Man- chester’s bid to become national sports stadium, Manchester being Wembley’s rival for this highly prestigious project.
“That was a past commission and this is what we’re doing now,” Sir Norman said defensively, adding: “You can’t do everything, so we’re sticking with London.”
That must be a relief to Arup Associates, which is designing the stadium at Manchester.